The Bahamas is teeming with fish. Most of them are very colorful. Many of them are relatively easy to see by just putting on a snorkel, some fins and visiting a coral reef.
Read below for a description of just some of the beautiful fish you may encounter when you go snorkeling of diving in the Bahamas.
The Blue Tang: This fish is believed to be the coral reef fish seen the most in the Bahamas. This fellow is a member of the surgeon fish family and ranges in size from 12-29 centimeters in length. They have a very flat body – its body looks something like a circle with a tail at the end opposite its eyes and mouth. The Blue Tang’s flat shape and sharp spine makes it hard for predators to eat it.
The Bluehead: This fish is a gorgeous multi-colored fish, with its colors changing as it ages.
The Stoplight Parrotfish: This fish actually can change its sex! It starts out as a male or female and then becomes a male as it gets older. It’s usually between 1-1.5 feet in length, but has been known to grow to two feet. It gets its name for the bright yellow spot near its pectoral fin. Because the fish also changes colors as it ages, this spot is always seen in older fish.
The Blue Chromis: This peaceful fish is known for its beautiful light blue dorsal side that fades to pale green by its belly. These are very small fish, usually ranging from half an inch to two inches, although they can grow as massive as three inches in length.
Foureye Butterflyfish: This lovely fish gets its name due to the large spot that sits on each side of the rear portion of its body. The spot is surrounded by a white ring, making it look very much like an eye. It’s believed these “eyes” act to deter a predator, which thinks the fish is facing it when indeed the fish is about to flee! The fish is light grey in color and ranges in size from 1.5 inches to as large as 4.5 inches in length.
Fairy Basslet: These fish are downright gorgeous, having a bright purple color in on their heads and first half of their bodies that changes midway down its torso to bright orange. They also have a small black spot on their dorsal fins. Don’t be surprised if you see this small fish (they get up to about three inches in length) swimming upside down: They’re known to swim upside down under ledges or in caves.
Banded Butterflyfish: Shaped like a disk (just like the Foureye Butterflyfish), the Banded Butterflyfish has a predominately white body with black bands or bars that run from its spine to its belly. These fish are very active on reefs during the day – all the better to see them!